Safe and Healthy Birth Practices for Baby-Mother Bonding
The bond between a mother and her baby is widely considered a phenomenon. Research over the last 40+ years continues to show promising results. In 1978, researchers referred to baby-mother bonding, as the “attachment theory.” Revealing advancements in positively impacting what we know and how we solidify the mother-baby bond long-term. Research in just the last ten years continues to make big strides. Providing advancements within birthing centers, maternity wards, and neonatal units.
In the last decade alone, research has advanced our understanding of the physiological response between baby and parent; fundamental to the baby-mother bond. A significant part of that process comes from health care professionals. Their knowledge and understanding are essential to a safe and healthy birth. They see first-hand the impacts of keeping mother and baby together immediately following birth—”ensuring unlimited opportunities for skin-to-skin care and breastfeeding.”
Baby-Mother Bonding – Making a Difference
In making the baby-mother bond a best practice available to stable mothers and babies, that have given birth either, vaginal or by cesarean. The evidence supports the immediate, uninterrupted skin-to-skin breastfeeding to promote optimal maternal and infant outcomes.
If it were not for the hard-work of health care professionals, mothers and babies might not afford the opportunity to properly bond. Research shows, the critical biological response both, mother and newborn, experience during those first few hours, days, and weeks after birth. Therefore, mother and baby benefit through…
- Immediate skin-to-skin care, lowering the risk of neonatal hypothermia.
- Breast milk rapidly adjusts in temperature regulating a newborn’s body temperature, promoting thermo-regulation.
- Newborns have a biological response to touch, smells, and temperature changes.
- “Salivary cortisol levels (a biochemical stress marker) decreased as skin-to-skin care increases beyond 60 minutes.”
- Babies that receive skin-to-skin care cry less.
- Enhanced cardio-respiratory stability, including oxygen saturation levels.
- Stable blood glucose levels.
Baby-Mother Bonding for Parents of Preemies
Bonding is especially difficult for mothers of preemies and can further exacerbate postpartum depression when separated for days before seeing or touch the baby. This kind of separation can be eased by asking the neonatal intensive care unit about when skin-to-skin care can begin. Also, ask your primary nurse about additionally ways to interact with you baby to improve the bond—such as NICU safe, clothing for preemies.
Responsible Baby-Mother Bonding
Health care professionals, are your “advocates to educating and implementing evidence-based maternity practices.” Expecting mothers should talk with their health care professional about those physiological needs for mothers and newborns. Those professionals will discuss the importance of skin-to-skin care and breastfeeding. A birth practice that is both, safe and healthy; evening for mothers of preemies.